Day Twenty Four: Monumental Discoveries : Colorado, Arizona

A bit of clarification. Due to WiFi challenges the last week, the blog is lagging about five days behind real time, (Dear lord I didn’t realize it was THAT bad!) This blog post will deal with the events of Wednesday April 8th, but is being written on the evening of Monday April 13th. If you follow me on FaceBook-that will contain more up to date information. I apologize for the confusion and do hope to eventually be caught up. Just typing that has left me totally discouraged.

*takes deep breath* OK-shake it off. I can do this…

To answer a few other questions regarding the 57 Chevy school bus:yes, I made the decidedly odd move of swapping a van for a bus. Primarily because I learned the campground at Mesa Verde wasn’t open yet for the season, partially because it seemed random and cool, and partially because it had a shower.

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Yes,  it had/has electricity and a solidly functioning space heater. There was a sink… but no tap… but I could use water from the water cooler (like an office style one) in the opposite corner? I don’t know, I didn’t try. There was a fridge. Down the “road” a bit there was a workshop that had a bathroom with shower and composting toilet. This one had cedar shavings that you scooped over your leavings-it wasn’t all space age like the one in the Nashville Tiny House.

It also allegedly had “lovely hiking trails” steps from the front door, and they were scenic, but also weird, and rocky and full of random computer graveyards and…. art??

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But we did sleep quite soundly, and managed to find some nice spots to walk amongst the crap.

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Oh, and about that “road”. Sooo-unbeknownst to me, to access this hidden gem, one had to go uphill along a rickety, stone bedecked dirt road. And then there wasn’t a driveway or parking space per se, one just… stopped. In the middle of the “road”. Which I didn’t really think about until an hour later when I decided to go into town for pizza. And realized there was no real easy way to turn Marigold around. There were a lot of fits and starts, and I MAY have cracked a paving stone leading up to the bus, (because what that whole area needed was more random rocks strewn about), and I MAY have knocked over a few of those little solar powered garden lights you stick in the ground.

Returning that evening, I thought I had found a better spot to park, but upon leaving that morning, it was a total nightmare! I had parked by some trees and the branches were scratching all over the top, and every time I tried to make a turn I ran up on a rock, or got stuck in a rut, and it was going from bad to worse and I was freaking out because technically I’m not supposed to be driving the van on dirt roads, and ohmigod I didn’t want to be stuck or have to call the bus lady for help. So I got out to assess the situation, and there was this, well, car part looking thing on the ground? Like a roughly 3.5 foot twisted metal pipe type thing? And I didn’t know if it had come off Marigold or was just lying there anyway, either of which possibility seemed equally likely. But it was a bit to the side, not right under the van, and it wasn’t hot to the touch which it seemed like it should have been, and I thought about bringing it along with me in case I needed it, but it was big and awkward, and I wasn’t going to sleep with a mammoth metal pipe. So I got back in the van, said a little prayer, gunned it, and got the hell out of there.

And immediately stopped for breakfast (all that stress works up an appetite!) I went to the Absolute Bakery, which had been HIGHLY recommended by both Yelp and my hostess for the previous night. It was a super cute place full of charm, not to mention a totem pole of Post-It comments, and a miniature replica of itself on the counter…

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And yet… the breakfast burrito was kind of crap, and doesn’t have a PATCH on Anita’s.

The cookies were decent enough though, so I grabbed a to go bag and we were off again! And this time I decided to take a little detour, based entirely on a postcard I ad seen for a place with a cool sounding name… Hovenweep. Tell me that name doesn’t rock! I had first stumbled across reference to it in the gift shop at Dead Horse Point State Park. When I asked the ranger lady about it, she kind of waved it off as a poor man’s Mesa Verde. But I was not going to let that deter me from heading 45 miles out of my way!

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So this place was basically more ancient cliff dweller stuff, except this time they built TOWERS! It was all very Game of Thrones.

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And there was a MUCH easier and more scenic hike to tour the dwellings, AND Annie was allowed to go on it with me!

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All in all it was a far superior experience to Mesa Verde in my book. But time was ticking and we had miles to go before we slept.

Miles like this…

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Annie was less than impressed…

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But that feeling was not to last for long, because soon, very soon, we’d be at Four Corners National Monument where she would set a personal best of barking in FOUR states at once!

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That’s Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona for those keeping score at home. I will say, the visit got off to an inauspicious start when we were greeted with this…

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But, I mean, that just applies to REGULAR dogs right? Well I for one had not driven an hour out of my way to be deterred by that nonsense! Now I can understand and respect (for the most part) many of the restrictions the bigger parks have placed on dogs. But this was a concrete plaza. No different than walking down the street. Nothing for her to harm or upset. And we certainly weren’t any more of a nuisance that the brats who had to take multiple spread eagle shots while a kid in a wheelchair sat waiting. As I was approaching the plaza, I saw another couple with a dog, who were reading the sign. I said: “I’m willing to ignore that sign if you will. What’s the worst that can happen? They ask us to remove the dogs?” But, alas, this was no BAWOTD, and she tied her dog up to a post, while Annie and I forged confidently ahead.

First attempts at record setting were half hearted, but she soon found her stride.

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No time to rest on her laurels, as we had one more monument to check off… sunset at Monument Valley…

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And where did we finally lay our weary heads that evening? Tune in tomorrow to find out!

One thought on “Day Twenty Four: Monumental Discoveries : Colorado, Arizona

  1. What? A CLIFFHANGER? We are already anticipating your blog and then you tease us?

    Color me impressed.

    Also, thank you for the Anita’s shout out. I think I am the only one in my office who likes their breakfast burritos. And now I want one.


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